Some Thoughts on the Forthcoming Synod

A priestly friend has contacted me to share some important considerations regarding the forthcoming synod on the family, perhaps inspired by Róisín Gallagher's blog.

I think the synod is important for lots of reasons, certainly in the context of the continually "evolving" idea of family fostered and promoted by secular society. There is a huge impact for the Church too, because Vocations to the religious life come from families. I do worry that clergy consider the role of the laity needs to be expanded to cover for the lack of vocations to the priesthood. What really needs to happen is that the faith is spread in order to inspire young men and women to take up the religious life. Meanwhile, this cannot happen whilst our focus is on mediocrity, concession, and relativism of belief.

Anyway, some important points, concisely made and valuable to share:

A. Who is eligible to participate?

Canon 833 states that everyone who is to take part in an Ecumenical Council, a particular council, the synod of bishops or a diocesan synod is obliged to make a profession of faith 

Therefore anyone holding hererodox beliefs would either have to perjure themselves or withdraw from the deliberations of the council or synod.

B. What is the Church's teaching on divorce and the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion?

The profession of faith taken in canon 833 covers both the extraordinary and the ordinary magisterium (cf LG 25) - including the Council of Trent's infallibly defined teaching on:

1. The Indissolubility of Christian marriage
Canon 7 of the 24th Session of the Council of Trent (November 11, 1563) states:

“If anyone says that the Church is in error for having taught and for still teaching that…the marriage bond cannot be dissolved…and that neither of the two, not even the innocent one who has given no cause for infidelity, can contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other…Anathema sit.” ( Denzinger 1807) 

2. The necessity of receiving sacramental absolution from all mortal sins before receiving Holy Communion 

Canon 11 of the 13th Session of the Council of Trent (October 11, 1551) states:

 “Those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, no matter how contrite they may think they are, first must necessarily make a sacramental confession…If anyone presumes to teach, or preach, or obstinately maintain, or defend in public disputation the opposite of this, he shall by the very fact be excommunicated.”

So anyone who denies this doctrine, automatically excommunicates himself.

This presumably even applies to Cardinals!


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